Family centres should be set up throughout Scotland to provide support to people with young children, the Scottish government has been told.
Professor Susan Deacon was tasked with proposing ways to improve quality of life for children still in their early years.
She said the family centres could be funded by private, public and non-profit organisations.
Her report, Joining the dots: a better start for Scotland's children, also suggested that authorities should intervene earlier when severe neglect or abuse against a child is suspected.
Ms Deacon said: "We owe it to our children, families and communities to bring about real change in children's early years. As I've highlighted in today's report, everyone agrees that the early years lay the foundations for our children's future lives. We now need to build the same level of consensus on how we improve those early years and I hope that today's report is the starting point for helping to achieving that."
Scotland's children's minister, Adam Ingram, said: "We will need time to fully consider Professor Deacon's suggestions for action."